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Government Law College, Mumbai

Coordinates: 51°45′40″N 1°15′12″W / 51.7611°N 1.2534°W / 51.7611; -1.2534{{#coordinates:51.7611|N|1.2534|W|type:edu|||| |primary |name= }}

Government Law College, Mumbai
शासकीय विधी महाविद्यालय, मुंबई
File:GLC - Mumbai.jpg
Government Law College, Mumbai seal
Motto Ne Vile Fano (Latin)
Motto in English
Let No Evil Enter
Established 1855
Location Mumbai, India
Nickname Template:If empty
Affiliations University of Mumbai, Bar Council of India

The Government Law College, Mumbai (Marathi: शासकीय विधी महाविद्यालय, मुंबई, abbreviated as GLC), founded in 1855, is the oldest law school in Asia and the most distinguished law school in India.[1] The college, affiliated to the University of Mumbai, is run by the Government of Maharashtra.[2]

The institution has had the privilege of guidance from eminent legal luminaries such as Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Lokmanya Tilak, Justice M. C. Chagla, Nani Palkhivala and several others who have adorned benches of the Supreme Court of India and the Bombay High Court. Equally, students who have passed from the portals of this college have distinguished themselves at the Bar, the Judiciary, and the Academy.[3] GLC is therefore referred to as "unarguable giant in Indian legal education" by the Bar Council of India.[4]

Despite the rise in the number of NLUs in recent years, GLC continues to attract legal aspirants from across the country and abroad, and has been ranked as one of the top law colleges in India by various prominent surveys and organizations.[5][6][7][8] The college celebrated its sesquicentennial in 2006.[9]


Origins and founding

Until the 1850s there was no formal legal education for legal officers and lawyers in India. Sir Thomas Erskine Perry, the then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Judicature at Bombay, would deliver lectures on law after court hours. These classes were held on a very informal basis and were attended only by a select group.

However, it was not till Sir Perry left for England in 1852, that a conscious effort was made to collect funds in order to institute a chair in Jurisprudence at the Elphinstone Institution. It was called the “Perry Professorship of Jurisprudence”. In 1855, Dr. R. T. Reid (LL.B Bar-at-Law & the first Judge of the Small Causes Court, Bombay) was appointed as the first Perry Professor of Jurisprudence and the Government Law School (GLS), as it was then called, was established at the Elphinstone Institution. The Government Law School has been affiliated with the University of Bombay since 1860.

Full time institution

The name, “Government Law School” was changed to “Government Law College” in 1925. It was only in 1938 that the college was converted into a full-time institution. It began work under the guidance of the then Principal Mr. A. A. A. Fyzee. After this change of status, the Government of Bombay decided to allocate a plot, west of Churchgate railway station for the Government Law College building. The college today stands at this very location.

Academic Profile


While the college does not have an admissions test for matriculation, it favours an extremely selective approach by focusing upon the marks achieved in the 10+2 examination and the final year examination of the undergraduate colleges held across India. Admission is given strictly on merit.[10] The college has traditionally maintained high cut-off percentage for admission and competition is fierce for the sparse annual intake.


Five Year Law Course

The B.L.S. LL.B. program is a 10-semester full-time course.[11] The first 2 years (4 semesters) constitute a 'pre-law' course where the student is taught social-science subjects like Economics, Political Science, History, English and Legal Language etc. In the next three years the actual law subjects, like Contracts, Family law, Labour Laws etc. are dealt with. In their 8th and 10th semester, the students have the option of choosing some particular subjects along with some compulsory subjects. A total of 4 practical training papers are compulsory for all the students. The BLS or the Bachelor of Legal Sciences degree is awarded to the students by the University of Mumbai after successful completion of the 3rd year and the LLB degree is awarded after completion of 5 years.

The BLS degree is a great boon to the students, as the student is declared a graduate after 3 years and becomes free to pursue other PG courses side-by side and also becomes eligible to apply for jobs or give various entrance exams.[12]

Three Year Law Course

Graduates have the option of enrolling for the LL.B. degree. The LL.B. degree is a three-year program with classes devoted solely to the study of law. A student who has successfully completed three years study is entitled to the LL.B. degree and is eligible to practice as an advocate, as per the Rules of the Bar Council of India. A student who desires to learn the law but does not wish to practice as an advocate is eligible for the LL.B. (General) Degree at the end of two years.

Other courses

GLC further features specialized diploma courses which include Postgraduate Diploma Course in Securities Law, Post Graduate Diploma In Intellectual Property Rights and Diploma in Cyber-Laws offered in joint-collaboration with the Asian School of Cyber Laws.[13] Recently the College has started the Post Graduate Certificate Course in Human Rights. All courses are taught by leading practitioners and experts.

Prominent current and former faculty

Throughout its history, the college has had the honour of guidance from eminent legal luminaries who have adorned benches of the Supreme Court of India and the Bombay High Court. The long list of legends include:

  • Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, former Principal, first Law Minister of India and Chairman, Drafting Committee of the Constitution of India
  • Dr. Trimbak Krishna Tope, former Principal (also the longest serving Principal of Government Law College), Vice Chancellor, University of Mumbai, Sheriff of Mumbai
  • Sir Dinshaw Mulla, former Principal, Privy Councilor, founding partner of Mulla and Mulla
  • A. A. A. Fayzee, former Principal, one of the foremost authorities on Islamic Law
  • R. B. Malik, former Principal, President of the Industrial Court, Judicial Member at Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal
  • Indira Kanahaiyalal Jain, former Principal, Judge of Bombay High Court
  • Nani Palkhiwala, former Professor, noted Constitutional Lawyer
  • M. C. Chagla, former Professor, Chief Justice of Bombay High Court
  • Ram Jethmalani, former Professor, noted Criminal Lawyer,
  • Prof. H. D. Pithawalla, Professor, Solicitor of the Supreme Courts of India, England and Hong Kong
  • Dr. Shakuntala Bharvani, Professor (English), renown novelist and former Visiting Fulbright Teacher to the USA

The Library

From its humble origins in 1856, GLC's library has grown into one of the foremost law libraries in the country, housing more than 42,000 books. In addition to its extensive collection of books and law reports drawn from all over the world, the library has maintained and preserved rare books that are out of print, some of which cannot be found in any other library in India. The Library additionally features a dedicated Electronic Research Room (ERR) for student use.

In 1856-57 a collection of law books was purchased for the use of the students of the college at the suggestion of Mr. E.I. Howard, Bar-at-Law and the then Director of Public Instruction. But this could only be housed at the Native General Library at Dhobi Talao for the lack of space. Eventually, in 1891, Government Law School and its Library were accommodated in Elphinstone College Building at Kalaghoda and on 13 July 1891, the Government sanctioned a grant of Rs.2,000/- for the purchase of furniture and other equipment for the Law Library. Every Principal in its own way tried to enrich the library in order to make it useful to the students as well as to the practitioners. During his tenure Dr. B. R. Ambedkar prevailed upon the Government to make an additional grant of Rs. 1000/- which was sanctioned in 1936. The Harilal J. Kania Memorial Library and Reading Room on the third floor of the college has been a part of this college since 1952. This Reading Room was created from the Harilal J. Kania Memorial Fund, which was instituted to honour the memory of Sir Harilal J. Kania, the first Chief Justice of India and an ex-student of GLC. This Reading Room can accommodate as many as 200 students at a time. The other two floors, i.e. the first and the second floors of the annex building, house various books on case law, many of which are more than a hundred years old.

The library enjoys the distinction of being the archival repository of the Civil Procedure Code of the East India Company’s Courts in the presidency of Fort St. George, and the original copy of the Indian Penal Code as drafted by Lord Macaulay in the year 1886.

Scholarships and Awards

The college provides scholarships to meritorious students. Special awards such as the Ranganathrao Trophy, the Yashwant Dalal Cup for Overall Excellence, the Diwan Jotimal Chuganee Trophy and the B.M. Vardhan’s Trophy for best Debater/Elocutionist are instituted for the overall development of students.[14]


The college has been publishing the college magazine since 1930 and the Law Review for the last few years.[15]

Student Life

The college is known for an active student life and college teams have a consistently exemplary record in many sports.[16] The GLC campus is located at Churchgate, to the west of the railway station, with close proximity to the Bombay High Court. The college has 17 classrooms, a Mooting Room, an Auditorium, an audio-visual room and a canteen for the benefit of students. The campus has a basketball court and a mini gymkhana at the back of the auditorium (for table tennis, carom, etc.). The students also use the nearby Oval Maidan or Mumbai University ground for sports such as cricket and football. The college has no hostel of its own. However, 62 seats for male students of the College in the Government Colleges Hostel, “C” Road, Churchgate and 20 Seats for male students at the Ismail Yusuf College at Jogeshwari, Mumbai has been provided.[17]

GLC has been encouraging activities like Moot Courts, debates, essay competitions and other activities which help improving the legal knowledge and the oratory and literary skills of the aspiring candidates. Moot court competitions have been a regular feature since 1936. The student committees also encourage sports, music, dance and drama.[18]

List of Student Committees

Career Opportunities


The college welcomes a large number of top legal firms, corporates, advocates and counsels who recruit the students of GLC. Many students have been placed with the top legal firms of India. In 2011-12, 120 students of a 240 batch size were selected during the Placement Week, despite the fact that several students do not appear for placements as they have their family practices to get back to or articleship to attend. Companies that recruited from GLC include AZB & Partners, Amarchand Mangaldas, Khaitan & Co, Desai & Diwanji, Tata Group of Companies, Colgate Palmolive and LIC Housing, etc. A total of 65 companies came for placements and offered annual salaries of anywhere between Rs 500,000 and Rs 14,50,000. In 2010-11, the range was between Rs 5,00,000 and Rs 12,00,000.[19]

In the Annual On-Campus Recruitment Program of 2012-2013, the Placement Committee of Government Law College succeeded in having more than 60 top law firms, counsel and corporate houses to recruit the students. Since then, the Placement Committee has been implementing the recruitment process throughout the year, thus functioning all year through. The Committee organizes two “Placement Weeks”, one conducted in September/October and the second scheduled in January/February, thus benefiting both the students and the potential employers.[20]

Running Internships

Due to flexible college timings, students start pursuing internships with the Judges of the High Court, various law firms or with members of the Bar, during college itself. By the time most of these students graduate, their work experience in the legal sector surpasses students from all other institutions across the country. GLC is the only law college in the country which exposes its students to a plethora of work opportunities in the legal field.


Government Law College is one of the few legal institutions that gives its students an opportunity to enroll for the Solicitors' Exam while undergoing their graduation studies. Taking full advantage of being situated in the financial capital of India, the students of GLC work as article clerks simultaneously, thereby fulfilling one of the requirements of a full-fledged solicitor.


Many students also choose the option of practising law, both in India and abroad. Many top practising advocates and judges of Mumbai and India are GLC alumni. Generally students of GLC are known to do extremely well in litigation.

Professional Courses

Students get an opportunity to undergo add-on professional courses like C.S., C.A., and C.F.A. These courses enable students to expand their knowledge and awareness even as fresh graduates.

Higher Education

A good number of GLCites opt to pursue higher studies. GLC alumni can be found at Oxford, Harvard, etc., while others choose to do their LLM from India.[21]

Notable Alumni

The college has the honour of being the alma mater of a host of people who would leave an undeniable mark in evolution of the nation. The long list includes B. R. Ambedkar, the father of the Indian Constitution, H. J. Kania, the first CJI; Pratibha Patil, the former President of India; and L. K. Advani, the former Deputy Prime Minister.[22]

Legal Legends

GLC organizes the reputed Nani Palkhivala Memorial National Tax Court Competition in his fond memory.

Chief Justices of India

File:H. J. Kania.jpg
Honorable Justice Harilal Jekisundas Kania, the first Chief Justice of India, is an alumnus of GLC

Famous Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts

  • Justice M. C. Chagla, first Indian Chief Justice of Bombay High Court
  • Justice G. S. Patel, Judge, Bombay High Court
  • Justice K. R. Shriram, Judge, Bombay High Court
  • Justice Kathawala, Judge, Bombay High Court
  • Justice Roshan Dalvi, Judge, Bombay High Court
  • Justice B. N. Srikrishna, former Judge, Supreme Court of India
  • Justice H. N. Gokhale, former Judge, Supreme Court of India
  • Justice S. N. Variava, former Judge, Supreme Court of India
  • Justice Ranjana P Desai, Judge, Supreme Court of India
  • Justice A. P. Shah, former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court
  • Justice F. I. Rebello, former Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court
  • Justice A.B.Naik, Former Judge & Chairman, Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal Mumbai.

Elite Government Offices, Politicians, Reformers and Industrialists

File:President of India speaking at The Doon School.jpg
Her Excellency Smt. Pratibha Patil, the first woman President of India, is an alumina of GLC

See also


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External links